Idealising and Researching for my infographic

Its the first assessment task of the semester, and projects are starting. For VCD102, we are starting our data visualisation task. This involves defining and researching the product, according to the 7 Step Model by Ambrose and Harris.

When I first started the project, I had an idea in my head for an entertainment related concept. I tried finding out more information, but resources and data proved to be limited, and I had to scrap it and move on to other things.

Digital sketches of scrapped ideas I had for the Infographic

On a whim, I decided that I liked animals, and there were an abundance of resources that focused on animal data, so I would have plenty to choose from. I found a site for bird data, and I could search based on region and state. This was the perfect idea for a project, listing birds for the region of the Illawarra and comparing them to other statistics. However, I ran into a problem. I had originally wanted to list the top 10 most common birds in the Illawarra, and the top 10 rarest birds, but all of the rarest birds returned a sighting of 1, making them all equally rare, and a very boring data choice. I also thought the subject matter was a bit lacking, and I needed to find more stimulating statistics.

I then stumbled upon bird strikes, and I found a whole data sheet in Excel from the Australian Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) that provided me with more than enough information to use in an infographic. It had information on where and how many birds were struck by bird strikes. It also listed some ground animals that were struck by bird strikes. I now had a pretty good vision of how the data sets could be used, and how I would visualise it into an infographic.

A VERY fast sketch of my idea before I did any Illustrator work

The Wikipedia page and other subsequent resources were also a great help for more information on bird strikes to build a story, they had a lot of information on what they use to deter the birds, and during what seasons they’re active.

With help for the infographic, I looked up bird infographic (who would have thought?), and while most were a bit unhelpful, I did find an appealing colour scheme to work with (Also used in every movie poster ever!) and the iconic blue/orange combo still works.

How I decided what my colour scheme was going to be

I visualised a plane in the middle of the infographic, and putting data around or under it. I did this because I wanted to loosely imitate flight instruments in the cockpit that pilots use, such as an attitude indicator (also known as an artificial horizon), an instrument that tells your elevation and spatial relationship to the sky/ground.

An attitude indicator, a loose inspiration for my infographic

Research and defining the project went hand it hand. I could only define the project because I researched information for data sets and visual information, and with the knowledge that I was armed with, I could proceed to make prototypes!

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